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Questions tagged [world-war-one]

Questions on World War I, events that caused it, strategy and tactics employed by the battling sides and the consequences of this war.

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3
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1answer
458 views

Was there relative peace in the Middle East before the end of the Great War?

I just finished reading Eugene Rogan's book The Fall of the Ottomans. The vast majority of the book covers the years 1914 - 1918 (i.e. WWI), before concluding with the redistribution of the Ottoman ...
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2answers
411 views

Was Falkenhayn the first commander to recommend defeating an enemy by bleeding them to death?

In his book The Price of Glory: Verdun 1916, Alistair Horne describes the memorandum introducing Erich Von Falkenhayn's plan to compel France to throw all its men into the defense of Verdun, because (...
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2answers
5k views

How did an unditching beam work?

Some of the second generation British tanks in World War One carried "unditching beams" atop the hull. I know the beams were used to extricate the tanks from holes, but I have never found any ...
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2answers
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How did the British Army unit size and structure in WWI change from 1915 to 1918?

Preface: For obvious reasons, we will assume ideal conditions for the purposes of this question. For convenience's sake, we will also ignore the original British Expeditionary Force that was almost ...
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2answers
2k views

What's this 1917 shell casing, more exactly?

I've been gifted this vase that is obviously made out of a large shell casing. It has 'MARZ 1917' stamped on the bottom, plus other less understandable markings: 'St', 'G', '36', 'HL 25'. I'm ...
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1answer
1k views

How long was the Treaty of Versailles intended to be in order?

After WWI Germany was forced to abide by the Treaty of Versailles. In the treaty Article 160 says: By a date which must not be later than March 31st 1920, the German Army must not comprise more ...
5
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1answer
756 views

What was the outcome of the first tank battle?

Today, April 24th, is the anniversary of the first tank battle. As noted on this Wikipedia page, it was three British tanks against three German tanks, but there is no mention of the outcome in ...
9
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1answer
244 views

Which town or village in Britain lost the greatest percentage of men in WWI due to “Pals Battalions”?

The British decision to create "Pals Battalions" of men from a single town or village led to unanticipated disasters when Pals battalions ran into heavy resistance, with large numbers of men from a ...
3
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1answer
272 views

Is there any truth to the story of a British general breaking down in tears upon seeing the battlefield conditions at Passchendaele?

An oft-repeated anecdote about World War I (and the lack of understanding among high ranking officers) claims that, after the Third Battle of Ypres (aka Passchendaele), a British general visited the ...
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1answer
459 views

What's the story behind this photo from WWI?

Warning: the photograph below is very graphic and may disturb some viewers, hence the spoiler tag. Click at your own risk. The picture shows the skeletal corpse of a dead German infantryman (the ...
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1answer
211 views

Were there any Senate hearings involved in ending WW I trench warfare?

I know that tanks becoming more reliable was a part of why trench warfare started to dissipate at the end of World War I. I want to know if there was much in the way of political commentary or public ...
4
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1answer
504 views

How would gender equality in WWI have affected UK population? [closed]

Gender equality in the armed forces is in the news. The UK army has just appointed its first front line fighting woman officer. There is discussion in US government about having women register for the ...
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3answers
673 views

How would the Germans have sent the Zimmerman telegraph if the German-American telegraph line was cut?

If the British cut the telegraph line across Atlantic, how would the Germans send the telegram?
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990 views

How did Hindenburg and Ludendorff lose WWI?

In his 2015 book "Towards The Flame - Empire, War and the End of Tsarist Russia", Dominic Lieven claims: In Germany, William II was largely replaced by Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg as regards ...
6
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1answer
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Did the US wage war against the Ottoman Empire in 1917?

When the US entered world war one, did it include declaration of war against the Ottoman Empire? Were there any actions or plans for US military operations in the Middle East?
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6answers
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Why did Germany officially acknowledge the contents of the Zimmerman telegram?

The Zimmerman telegram was a diplomatic message from officials in Germany to the Mexican president, sent in 1917. After being intercepted and decoded by Britain's intelligence community, its contents ...
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1answer
15k views

Why did Russia support Serbia in the years leading to World War I?

Serbia, in its desires to develop a Slavic state, was hindered by Austria-Hungary, which took steps to stop Serbia, especially shown by the autonomy given to Albania by Austria. When Austria ...
5
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1answer
417 views

Was Karl Doenitz repatriated to Germany after WW1 “as insane”?

The British newspaper, "The Daily Telegraph" (2 May 1945), under a headline "Hitler's Death Announced : New Fuehrer Once Certified Insane", says Karl Doenitz was captured by the British in October ...
5
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1answer
804 views

Was Smedley Butler right when he said 21,000 million/billionaires were created from World War I?

In his book entitled "War is a Racket" Smedley Butler argues that the profit of war is counted in bodies and money spent. He also wrote that 21,000 millionaires/billionaires were made from World War I....
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1answer
125 views

Did the 1918 flu pandemic affect travel within USA, and in what ways?

I was looking for information on whether the 1918 flu pandemic made it difficult to travel locally within USA, and in what ways. I found this article that talks about how the St. Louis (Missouri) ...
25
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5answers
9k views

How did ships acquire targets beyond the horizon in WWI?

From "The World Crisis, 1911-1928" (Winston Churchill): ... the 5th Battle Squadron had begun to fire, at the long range of 17,000 yards, upon Admiral von Hipper's last two ships. If the horizon ...
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1answer
467 views

Were the Bonus Wars in the USA during WWI about unpaid salaries?

Were all US soldiers paid in full during World War One (WWI)? Were the Bonus Wars not actually asking for additional money but for back payments for salary never paid?
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2answers
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The Triple Alliance vs The Allied powers vs The Allies

England, Russia and France formed the Triple Entente . Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy and Turkey as a supporting country formed the Triple Alliance . This is what my History book says in the First ...
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2answers
309 views

In Russia, are the anniversaries of the various events that occurred in 1917 and '18 observed according to the Old Style or the New Style calendar?

In Russia in 1917 and 1918, a number of important events, including the abdication and assassination of Czar Nicholas, and the Menshevik and Bolshevik revolutions occurred while the Old Style (Julian) ...
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1answer
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World War 1: Why did Italy not fight until 1915?

Today I learnt history about World War 1 and I have a question that has been bothering me. According to what I have studied, the Triple Alliance (1882-1915) was an alliance between Germany, Austria-...
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1answer
995 views

Need song or quote from Christmas Truce of 1914

I need an emblematic, inspiring, not-too-long quote or image from the World War I Christmas Truce of 1914. It should be historically accurate, but (in an appropriate context) it should be fairly easy ...
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2answers
203 views

Star of the Allies

Which alliance is this? The picture is from a hand stitched post card around the time of WWI. Can't figure out when these five nations (assuming the black/yellow is some form of Germany), would have ...
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2answers
402 views

What happened to foreign investments of enemy citizens during WW2?

Were property rights of foreigners respected when war broke out and did they lose their foreign investments?
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9k views

How was Switzerland able to stay neutral during WWI and WWII?

It is amazing Switzerland was able to stay neutral. It is not just a matter of choice and only up to Switzerland. Each side of the warring faction can take this hard stand "If you are not for me, then ...
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5answers
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How did such a relatively minor event as the assassination of an archduke start World War I?

The assassination of the Austrian archduke was, considered in the context of all Europe's near-explosive politics, a relatively minor event. So how did it cause such a major war?
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1answer
537 views

Were the pre-WW1 alliances really created to prevent war?

A scene in Blackadder goes Forth has Captain Edmund Blackadder setting the stage for World War One: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGxAYeeyoIc Edmund: Do you mean “How did the war start?” ...
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1answer
757 views

Re: WWI, is the term “Allies” a retronym?

Were Allies of WWI called "Allies" at the time (in English), or is that a term we started applying later? Did they just refer to themselves as the (Triple) Entente?
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1answer
226 views

Connection between U.S. entry into WW1 and Germans sending Lenin back to Russia

The Germans sent Lenin back to Russia ten days after U.S. entry into WW1. Does anyone know of primary source evidence that the Germans thought of Lenin as a possible way to counter U.S. entry by ...
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2answers
253 views

Where did British troops fight during the allied intervention in the Russian Civil War?

In particular, did they fight in the territories of modern-day Belarus or Lithuania? Update: Online sources (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allied_intervention_in_the_Russian_Civil_War#Caucasus, http:/...
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1answer
273 views

was communism a weaponized idea deployed against Imperial Russia? [closed]

I remember a lecture by a historian praising Imperial Germany for defeating Imperial Russia by both political (financing and "deploying" Lenin) and military means, a feat that both Napoleon and Hitler ...
7
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1answer
609 views

Did Hitler brag about or downplay his war experiences in WW I in appealing to 1932 voters?

I am currently reading Yuval Noah Harari's Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. IMHO it is unfortunately much weaker than its impressive predecessor (as can of course happen with "second" books). ...
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2answers
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How exactly did Franz Ferdinand hunt?

“Anything that moved, he was ready to shoot,” said Lebow. His personal record was reportedly 2,140 kills in a day. Franz Ferdinand tallied his kills in a massive journal. The grand sum of pheasant, ...
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2answers
12k views

What happens to the corpses after the world wars?

I was reading my history book, and it stated that the Battle of Somme caused at least 20,000 casualties just to British troops, and another 25,000 to German troops. What happens to the dead bodies ...
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1answer
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What happened to the holders of German war bonds after WW1?

I was just reading about how Germany sold a lot of war bonds to citizens and other entities during World War 1. Given the dire economic situation of Germany after the war, what happened to the owners ...
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2answers
3k views

Why didn't the Ottoman Empire remain neutral in WW1?

From reading the web, I understand that the Empire was in a terrible state. This was the result of several decades of losing battles, nationalistic uprisings, and opposition to reform that resulted ...
6
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1answer
555 views

Why didn't the Germans fully exploit the first gas attack near Ypres

I'm reading up about the second battle of Ypres (April-May 1915) which started with a chlorine gas attack north of the Ypres-salient. The attack caused a gap of several miles (3 to 4) wide to be ...
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3answers
4k views

Why didn't trench warfare produce a similar stalemate on the eastern front in World War I?

After fall of 1914, World War I on the western front was characterized by trench warfare. That is to say that soldiers in trenches protected by machine guns and barbed wire occupied such strong ...
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3answers
658 views

Did British measures cause starvation in Norway during WWI?

The description of the movie "Hamsun" at IMDB states: Knut Hamsun is Norway's most famous and admired author. Ever since he was young he has hated the English for the starvation they caused ...
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1answer
864 views

What was the actual cause of the disaster for the Royal Navy’s battlecruisers in the Battle of Jutland?

During the Battle of Jutland (31 May 1916), the battlecruisers Invincible, Queen Mary, and Indefatigable exploded with only a few survivors; Lion was almost lost in a similar manner. This provoked the ...
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1answer
199 views

What is the significance of the term “never start changing the borders in Eastern Europe by force?” [closed]

I have read this was the cause of both World War 1 and World War 2. Russia has now seized the Crimea and followed that up with a War in Eastern Ukraine. Does this have any relevance today?
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7answers
11k views

Why did trench warfare accept deadlocks?

As someone who has never studied military history or strategy I find it very hard to understand how and why both sides got locked into relatively short lines of heavily defended trench warfare with ...
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0answers
266 views

What was the name of the man who was beaten by a crowd for tearing up a war poster during WWI?

I remember learning in high school about an incident occurring (I think) in America during World War I in which a foreign man (I remember as Turkish) who did not read English, having seen a war poster ...
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2answers
639 views

Why does the First World War (WW I) play such a minor role today compared to Second World War (WW II)? [closed]

In my experience, in Central Europe, people are more aware of the Second World War, than the First World War. This seems to be the case in other European an American regions, too. Do others also see ...
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1answer
614 views

Countries involved in World War 1(the Great War) [closed]

I can get a list of countries which were involved in World War 1 as Allies but I can't find list of countries who supported Germany in World War 1, basically I can't find list of countries which were ...
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2answers
360 views

How far away could zeppelins drop bombs?

I am doing a little World War 1 reading for a class, and I came to this passage: German dirigibles, or zeppelins, were able to drop bombs on targets that were 700 miles away. This was far beyond ...